Rutgers 41

(1-0, 1-0 away)

Washington St 38

(0-1, 0-1 home)

Coverage: FOX Sports 1

10:00 PM ET, August 28, 2014

CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA

1 2 3 4 T
RUTG 7 14 3 1741
WSU 3 14 14 738

Top Performers

Passing: C. Halliday (WSU) - 532 YDS, 5 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: P. James (RUTG) - 29 CAR, 173 YDS, 3 TD

Receiving: V. Mayle (WSU) - 12 REC, 124 YDS, 1 TD

Rutgers rallies in 4th to beat Cougars 41-38

Associated Press

SEATTLE -- Paul James ran for 173 yards and scored his third touchdown with 3:24 left to give Rutgers a wild 41-38 victory over Washington State on Thursday night in the Scarlet Knights' first game as a member of the Big Ten.

Gary Nova threw a 78-yard touchdown to Leonte Carroo on the first play from scrimmage and Rutgers withstood a passing onslaught from Washington State's Connor Halliday.

Rutgers won its opener for the sixth time in nine years and picked up a significant road victory with a challenging Big Ten slate ahead. Meanwhile, Washington State has just one victory in its last nine openers.

Halliday did his part. The senior completed 40 of 56 passes for 532 yards and five touchdowns, but his fourth-down pass for River Cracraft near midfield with 53 seconds left was batted away.

Nova was 16 of 27 for 281 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but the Scarlet Knights rode James and the run game. James had 113 yards rushing in the first half and touchdown runs of 1 and 56 yards as Rutgers built a 21-10 lead.

The Scarlet Knights leaned on James at the end. Cracraft fumbled a punt near midfield with 7 minutes left and Rutgers recovered trailing 38-34. James carried on four straight plays and Nova hit consecutive passes, the second an 11-yard dart to Carroo to the 14 with 4:11 left. James capped the drive with a 3-yard TD run and Rutgers was back ahead.

Washington State couldn't put together one final drive. Halliday was sacked and a pair of incompletions turned the ball over with less than a minute left.

Halliday overcame a shaky start and was nearly flawless in the middle two quarters. After an early interception, Halliday connected on 15 of his next 21 throws the rest of the half, including touchdown tosses of 4 yards to Isiah Myers and a 26-yard flick to Vince Mayle late in the first half to pull Washington State to 21-17 at the break.

He was even better in the third quarter, leading the Cougars to a pair of touchdowns with nearly flawless efficiency. Halliday hit on 13 of 15 passes to start the second half, his only incompletions a throwaway under pressure and a drop in the end zone. Halliday hit Cracraft on a 7-yard strike to give Washington State a 24-21 lead. Myers had his second touchdown catch, taking a huge hit while hauling in a 14-yard strike on third-and-goal for a 31-24 lead.

Just as quickly the lead was gone. Kyle Federico's second field goal, on the first play of the fourth quarter, pulled Rutgers to 31-27 and after a Washington State three-and-out, Nova found John Tsimis for a 29-yard TD and a 34-31 lead with 10:50 remaining.

Halliday answered in a hurry. He found Myers for 43 yards to the 9, then went over the 500-yard mark on a 5-yard TD pass to Rickey Galvin for a 38-34 lead with 8:13 left, the Cougars' final lead.

The game drew 30,927 to CenturyLink Field in what will likely be the Cougars last visit there in the foreseeable future. Washington State athletic director Bill Moos wants all home games on campus beginning next season and the crowd was the smallest to see a Washington State game played in Seattle.


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs2222
Total Yards496538
3rd Down Conversions6-148-13
4th Down Conversions1-10-2

Passing Leaders

Gary Nova16/2728110.421
Connor Halliday40/565329.551

Rushing Leaders

Paul James291736.0356
Desmon Peoples8364.5010
Jamal Morrow6172.8013
Gerard Wicks273.507

Receiving Leaders

Leonte Carroo615125.2178
Janarion Grant44812.0030
Vince Mayle1212410.3126
Isiah Myers69415.7243

Scoring Summary

TD14:44Leonte Carroo 78 Yd pass from Gary Nova (Kyle Federico Kick)70
FG4:29Erik Powell 22 Yd Field Goal 73
TD12:58Paul James 1 Yd Run (Kyle Federico Kick)143
TD7:09Isiah Myers 4 Yd pass from Connor Halliday (Erik Powell Kick)1410
TD4:58Paul James 56 Yd Run (Kyle Federico Kick)2110
TD1:42Vince Mayle 26 Yd pass from Connor Halliday (Erik Powell Kick)2117
TD12:27River Cracraft 7 Yd pass from Connor Halliday (Erik Powell Kick)2124
FG7:48Kyle Federico 36 Yd Field Goal 2424
TD3:56Isiah Myers 14 Yd pass from Connor Halliday (Erik Powell Kick)2431
FG14:46Kyle Federico 25 Yd Field Goal 2731
TD10:50John Tsimis 29 Yd pass from Gary Nova (Kyle Federico Kick)3431
TD8:13Rickey Galvin 5 Yd pass from Connor Halliday (Erik Powell Kick)3438
TD3:24Paul James 3 Yd Run (Kyle Federico Kick)4138